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500,000 burn injuries in 2015

Posted at 7:40 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 19:40:41-05

12 years ago today Hailey Woodall experienced something that would change the course of her life.

“About 40 percent of her body was burned,” Tiffany Woodall, her mother, said.

Barely 2 years old, Hailey was burned by a pot of boiling water while her mom was cooking.

She explained, “I wanted to see what she was cooking, so I just kind of like poured it on myself by accident.”

“She almost actually passed away in the hospital because she had a fever, very high fever,” her mom said. “It was a blur the whole month, it was really hard.”

Their story is very common. The American Burn Association reports there were nearly 500,000 burn injuries last year alone.

Dr. Anjay Khandelwal, one of the directors at MetroHealth Medical Center’s Burn Center said scald burns in particular are very common.

“About a third of our patients will actually be pediatrics and in adults scalding injuries are the second leading cause of burns in the patients that we typically see.”

MetroHealth is the only burn center in Cleveland and the only verified Adult and Pediatric Burn Center in the state. Physicians there said these types of burns usually happen during our everyday routines.

Dr. Khandelwal explained, “It’s kitchen related injuries and it’s bathroom related, hot water related injuries are going to be the most common.”

So even when you're cooking simple things like ramen noodles or hot chocolate, you must take caution as those types of hot liquids can pose serious safety issues.

“Prevention is the key,” Dr. Khandelwal said. He continued, “and remember it only takes a split second, so when you’re in the kitchen, use some common sense, keep the young child away from the areas where you have the hot liquids.”

Now going through the plastic surgery process, Hailey and her mom told me they’ve come a long way in their journey.

Hailey said, “I spent a lot of time like really self-conscious, thinking about what other people are going to think and then when I started realizing, ‘oh, I don’t really care’ I’m going to do what makes me happy."

Her mom added to that saying, “I just want her to see what a beautiful young lady she’s always been…I’m just so happy she feels more confident in herself now and that makes it totally worth it.”

National Burn Awareness week starts Monday and the American Burn Association and other burn centers across the U.S. will be using that week to spread the word about burn safety.